April 27, 2008

04/27/08: William Jacobson, 19, Ithaca, NY

Nineteen-year old freshman William "Willie" Jacobson, an Ithaca College student in upstate New York, was last seen at a theme party at a house at 105 Grandview Avenue. He had been dressed as William Shakespeare at the party. His body was found three days later in a retention pond less than half a mile from the party.

Willie's Story
According to Ithaca College, Jacobson was last seen around 4 a.m. April 27 in the backyard of a home in the city of Ithaca near the Hudson Heights Apartments. It was a theme party, and he had been dressed in a William Shakespeare costume consisting of white long-sleeved dress shirt, navy blue vest, black dress pants, and black dress shoes. He was seen walking away from the home. Officials say they believed he was planning on walking back to his dorm room on campus. Jacobson would have had to walk about a half-mile from the party back to get to his dorm (the Terrace 11 residence hall). His roommate reported him missing late Monday night. According to interviews with party-goers, Jacobson had been drinking during the theme event, but witnesses say he was not drunk. There is no indication he ran into any trouble with anyone at the party.

The Search
Nearly one hundred people were involved in the search for Jacobson. Rescue workers searched briefly Monday evening before darkness set in and then conducted aerial and ground searches Tuesday. Firefighters, police and volunteers trekked through the woods.Helicopters and ATVs joined in the ground searches. Friends set up a Facebook alert and posted flyers. A state dive team also searched two ponds on campus.

A State Police dive team found Jacobson’s body in a small 8-foot deep pond on Farm Road. Acting Ithaca Police Chief Edward Vallely said there were no visible injuries on the body. According to college spokesperson, Dave Maley, the retention pond is just down an embankment from a sidewalk that Jacobson could have been using to get home. It is conceivable that he tumbled into the pond, said Maley, but it is "too early to know exactly what happened." Jacobson still had his wallet and his cell phone with him.The pond is located on the route he likely would have taken to return to his Terrace 11 residence hall room.

A preliminary autopsy conducted on Thursday, May 1, by Dr. James Terzian of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton indicated the death was due to an accidental drowning. Police have ruled out foul play as the cause of death.

About Willie Jacobson
A resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, Jacobson, 19, was a writing major at Ithaca College. Jacobson had been a graduate of Central High School in St. Paul, MN, where he was a member of the student group Youth Against War and Racism.

Quick Facts:Name/age: William ("Willie") Jacobson (originally from St. Paul)
College: Ithaca College, Ithaca
Major: writing
Physical Description: white male, 5’9” tall, 165 lbs., thin build, black wavy hair, goatee. Wearing Shakespeare costume consisting of white long-sleeved dress shirt, navy blue vest, black dress pants, and black dress shoes.
Last seen: 4/27/08, sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 am
Recovered: 4/30/08
Cause of death: drowning
Manner of death: accident
Injuries: no signs of foul play or trauma
Air temperature: in the 40s


Anonymous said...

they are offically calling willie's death an 'accidental drowning'. how this happens in a 60 foot wide, 8 foot deep pond is beyond me. His friends said he was drinking but wasn't drunk. He knew how to swim. And most importantly, the pond is far from rural, he would have had to have been extremely drunk to fall into that pond.

Missing Students said...

"Accidental drowning" just means it wasn't intentional, by police definitions, anyway. You can accidentally drown in a teaspoon of water. I've added Willie to my map.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, I dont know how to send an email to you but could you add danny to this site.

Please look at finddanny.com

This case matches the rest of these cases and his family thinks so too. Please help us.

Anonymous said...

somewhere on this site dan pirfo is mentioned. he was a 19 year old student at cornell university in ithaca, NY and he disappeared on the exact same day as willie jacobson three years ago, in 2005. he was found in a gorge. the similarities are bone chilling

Anonymous said...

I'm also unsure how to contact this web site in order to post another name of a drowned student under the same similar circumstances. Nicholas Garza . More info posted at http://nicholasgarza.org/

Anonymous said...

Willie's death could be an accident. But note where he was before he died--a party. A number of the missing and drowned were at parties just before they disappeared. So, what's the connection between college bars and college parties? Answer: the college kids who frequent them. Simple, isn't it? Sure, there are some dysfunctional non-college types involved in this. And what's the connection, then, between college kids and dysfunctional non-college types? Answer: the people who recruit them. And why are they recruited? To bring them over to the dark side--viz. blacks ops, dirty tricks, the full gamut of institutionally sponsored evil. And why do they join? To get the car, the house, the humungous off-the-books expense account and the Paris Hilton pin-up poster girl for Stepford House in Stepford, USA. And how do they justify all this? To themselves? The benediction of the scepter. For they will have seen it, touched it in their minds and felt blessed by its universal sanction of power. For power, they quickly learn, justifies everything. And absolute power removes all trace of conscience and the need for expiation of sins: There are no sins.

For poor Willie Jacobson, it means a "well-intentioned" upper classman can, with perfect equanimity, point the way home one evening down some obscure and poorly lit path, knowing full well that the game has already been played out, step by step, far in advance, with Willie just an unwitting expedient of the inherent progress of the system and its willing adherents. Has anything really changed over the years? Do I have to ask?

So, when is serial murder not the work of serial murderers? The question is like a koan in Zen: How can you clap with one hand? Can you do it? Can you free yourself of the vise of conceptualization? How do apparently independent groups of killers communicate their murderous ambitions in those myriad locales and campuses linked to the I-94 corridor slayings? Answer: They're organized. How does Smiley Face case out an on-campus party, an off-campus frat party and a legion of popular college bars and taverns, seemingly knowing precisely where to find his next victim? He doesn't. He has intelligence. So, why does Willie Jacobson not make it home one evening? Answer: He is given exculpatory aid by people who have sworn allegiance to the Purple and all it stands for, now and in the future.

Twilight said...

This is to the last poster on this site. I'll call you 'allegiance to the purple.' Why the Cryptic cry for help? Save all the gobbledygook. This is a kid's life. This isn't a koan or an act beyond rational thought. The only thing now absent between the expanse of mystery and understanding is evidence. Do you have any? Why flirt with what you can't see? It's always fun to tackle a riddle, but in the end you still seem to be guessing. Let's try again. Come into my world of evidence. Bait with something concrete. Can you do it or is Willie still alive?

Anonymous said...

In finding hundreds of other people interested in this case I find that I am no longer the lone genius I thought I was!

This is to "Twilight" concerning the cryptic post by the other person...just ignore it.

Throughout history there have been people who want to ride the coat tails of the famous and the infamous. Back before the BTK killer was caught I was obsessed with solving that case. There were numerous forums dedicated to the murders and then somehow an urban legend was started that BTK was actually visiting and posting on some of those websites!! The number of "cryptic" postings sky rocketed.

I always have believed that cyptic messages were a way for someone with NO information to veil themselves in a cloak of mystery to appear as if they have information. Best policy...IGNORE.

I have been following these drownings for over 5 years. When Patrick Kycia went missing and we heard it on the news I actually lept up from my chair and hollered at the TV..."They better look in the river!!" Sure enough...there he was.

Here's a little known collection of facts that will boggle your mind...

Between 1997 and 1999 in a town called Rapid Creek, SD SEVERAL homeless men drowned in a shallow creek. No signs of a struggle, no signs of violence. I you ask me...SOMEONE was practicing their technique.

The lack of law enforcement to connect the dots in similar killings and thus somehow concluding that there is a killer on the loose committing similar acts has been well documented in the study of serial killers. Luckily the advent of the internet has made all of this information so much more readily available.

I hope to come back soon and post somemore later. Thank you for this website.

P.S. One thing that has really bothered me about the person doing this is that:

A: Person MUST be highly mobile with very little paper trail...ie: NOT a traveling salesperson because the trail would link them to the murders.

B: MUST have an independent source of income...how else could you travel around and eat ect??

C: NOT have a job to report to. No one but superman could possibly travel to all of these locations un-noticed by fellow co-workers after having missed that much work.

So...If you add all of this together, you can come up with one particular suspect that has already been named several times. His initials are R.E.L.

I don't believe he is soley responsible for every single disappearance and drowning. I do believe that through the internet website that he has been known to visit concerning violent drownings of men that he has found himself an accomplice that likes this type of activity just as much as he does.

I believe that person is living on the east coast and is responsible for the NY and Pennsylvania killings while R.E.L stays central to the interstates and operates within his safe zone there.

Anyway...I look forward to hearing from other people on their thoughts of this.


Anonymous said...

Here's another very odd thing I've noticed...(I need to start a notebook just on odd similarities)...

Willie Jacobson was originally FROM St. Paul, Minnesota and moved to New York...

Odd connection if you ask me...was he followed? Kept track of?

Also in reading through these posts I went to the website finddanny.com and noticed that that poor guy had moved TO Sand Point, Idaho FROM New York. !

Yet another odd coincidence. As I say... Was he followed?

Also, I keep reading how these guys tried to make a phone call to their closest friends just before they go missing. Are they sensing something really bad is going wrong? There is something with that connection I just can't put my finger on. WHY would you call your best friend at 2, 3 or 4 AM? I know one reason I would...If I thought I was in some type of danger.

Thanks again..

I don't want to register a blogger name so just call me Polly Ester.

Anonymous said...

Twilight: I made no cryptic cry for help; I was merely brainstorming in my May 31st posting. Last I heard it's still a free country. And as far as I know I'm not answerable to you, although when you use cop speech as in "I'll call you 'allegiance to the purple'" you're telling me something about yourself: you're a cop. Okay. Just don't segue into cop dumb: I don't live anywhere near these crimes, or know anyone participating in them. But note how I picked up on something: you.
Here's another: "Come into my world of evidence." What world of evidence is that, Sherlock, if not cop world? Who else but a cop would assert to know so much about such things? Perhaps a criminologist, perhaps one of your colleagues, maybe Gilbertson, for instance. The usage and syntax certainly suggest an academic pedigree, but I can't be certain. The poster capitalized "cryptic," for example, a mistake; and failed to capitalize "purple," a vivid personification. A true academic probably wouldn't have missed such subtlties, so I guess it's back to cop world with its "world of evidence" where linguistic niceties are less important than the facts of the case.

So, what's the point of these remarks? The point is that printed or readable matter often contain clues explicitly presented as such. This site alone contains a wealth of such information that needs to be ferreted out if the true facts about the I-94 corridor killings are to be known. Granted, this is just a beginning, but isn't perspective important if one is to avoid falling into that ready-made trap of the obvious conclusion? I believe this is a difficult case that has yet to progress on the right assumptions.

Twilight said...

I'm glad you responded. Why the paranoia? You sound almost angry. I am not a cop, and guilty of careless typing. Excuse my typos. My apologies. Still, you have yet to address the substance of your cryptic post. The point of my post was to ask if you truly had anything specific to add to the wide realm of theory this case inhabits. Honestly, I want to pick your brain and I'm not going to trail off on any character assumptions about who you are. I don't care about that, only what interesting information you may have that would advance know facts and theories about this case. It's not as a cop, as you accuse me of being. But like yourself, someone intrigued though not connected to any of these individual cases. I'll ask again. Do you have anything concrete? What are the right assumptions by which this can progress?

Anonymous said...

This is the second comment I have left about names that should be added to the list of drowned students. ( I am unable to link to : footprints.blogmail@yahoo.com.)

Tommy Booth is not listed and the information at the following link is similar :abclocal.go.com/wpvi/ story?section=news/local&id=6118869 - 60k

Anonymous said...

This is the second comment I have left about names that should be added to the list of drowned students. ( I am unable to link to : footprints.blogmail@yahoo.com.)

Tommy Booth is not listed and the information at the following link is similar to the events leading up to the other drowned students:abclocal.go.com/wpvi/ story?section=news/local&id=6118869 - 60k

Anonymous said...

I'm commenting on the May 31st posting . I don't get it ..... what is the "allegiance to the Purple"? ...notice how I capitalized ?....j.k. .... anyway, did you not like Willie Jacobson? Your ranting seems ill willed and out of place on a website where caring individuals are shocked at what's been going on...I mean are you trying to help or trying to vent .... what's up with that.

Anonymous said...


I have been following these cases now I thought for over 5 years and I guess it's actually been like 7 years.

When I read the details of the missing person it's like reading the same script over and over and over.

When I read the details of Tommy's disappearance it's the SAME SCENERIO. It's the same details over and over and over.

I live in an area where a river runs through and around the town. We have college students come here in the THOUSANDS to ride innertubes on the river. Every single weekend during the summer months there are between 1,500 and 3,000 young, DRUNK people IN THE RIVER tubing and drinking and whatever...yet we SELDOM if ever have a drowning!!! The drownings we have had have been from really sensless activity like diving head first into the water and hitting their head on rocks and killing themselves.

I tell you this about Tommy Booth he fits the scene here EXACTLY. He didn't know the area, was last seen at a bar, his close friends can't make any sense of why he would be back there.

This whole thing has a smell to it.

Here's another thing that confounds me...WHY ARE THERE NO FEMALES?? Why aren't any drunk girls falling in the river and drowning...WHY DOESN'T ANYONE EVER HEAR THEM CALLING FOR HELP?

No one and I mean NO ONE drunk or not falls in the water and just immediately drowns not even in frigid water. They would holler out. Yet in all of these cases not one single person has ever heard someone call out for help...WHY???

I believe they are drowned in another fashion and dumped in the river or pond or lake in which they are found.

Law enforcement YOU NEED TO WAKE UP!!!!

Wow! I'm ranting...I better calm down...


Poly Ester

Anonymous said...

Stand Out Girl-

I have noticed that a few of the young men that been found in the rivers/creeks, have been DJ's with the campus radio stations. I have not been able to check all the 40 listed here, but I do know of 3. The last 2, Nick Graza and Josh Stoczack both worked on the college radio airwave. Maybe someone targeted them through the airwaves. Just a thought-

Anonymous said...

Twilight: Re your 6-2-08 post. Your ingratiating tone and inquistive nature seem to favor displays of professional condescension. Qui bono? You still sound like a cop to me, in any event. Or perhaps you're just an academic psychologist on a publish or perish mission and desperately need field data. No...you're a cop.

Okay, copper, you want to know? I was just brainstorming. Maybe I like it. But if there's one thing I've learned about homicide, it's that serial murder is called that for a reason: it looks like murder, not accidental this or that. Psychopaths commit serial murder; sociopaths who murder have motives other than the killings themselves. Are there any clues that murder isn't the object in these cases? Maybe. Maybe not. But I never heard of a serial killer setting up accidents. Insurance scammers, wet teams, sure, but not Ted Bundy types. You know their wet work right away; they practically lay it out for you.

And something else. How does some national gang get organized around the accidental drowning principle, anyway? Think about it.
Is Smiley Face a gang like the Mongol and Outlaw motorcycle gangs, which have chapters in several states? If true, the cops would have picked up on it right away. It's called gathering intelligence.

So what really happened?

Two things: batting practice and initiation rites.

Remember Don Wiley, the world famous microbiologist who fell off a bridge in Tennessee and drowned. The coroner ruled it an accidental drowning. Wiley's death was one of several mysterious deaths involving microbiologists a few years ago. These deaths raised a hue and cry in some quarters over whether the deaths were connected. My point is, even if they weren't connected, Wiley's untimely demise could have been staged by professional assassins. And professional assassins need to practice. So they do. They practice on getting away with straight-up murder and they practice on setting up accidents. Practice makes perfect, right? Okay...

Now, suppose they're not practicing at all, but are seeking the most reliable recruits for their organization. Like the Crips and Bloods, they need to put these people through the most rigorous loyalty tests. Why? Because in the future they are going to be asked to do some very bad things. No wavering are backing down then. It's dead bang go or nothing at all. Got it? So go kill someone and prove you belong.

Well, not just yet, because you don't know anything yet. And we don't want to risk our best prospects right out of the starting gate. So, we recruit field crews with a gifted propensity for mischief from the local jails and psych wards (they're in our Total Awareness national security data bases; all we have to do is look them). Each crew is then given a field spec with a strong black ops background and a dedicated sociopathic profile. With this accomplished, it's time to test our psycho wannabes from our institutions of higher learning. Just one final point: Why isn't this scenario being played out nationwide? Simple. No one's going to buy the accidental drowning template if there's a spate of similar deaths showing up from coast to coast. De trop is too much. But maybe we experiment with other things, too. Who knows?

Now back to the cum laude sweethearts of Sigma Nu. Their job is simple: set up and finger the marks and stay out of the way. If something goes wrong, we'll toss Beat Street a couple of throwaways. Yeah, we'll let the dysfuncts carry spray paint for their stupid signs...the stupid fucks. It's their funeral.

See? That's how it's been going down. Or could be. But can you tell the difference? Can you?

Twilight said...

Christ, enough already. ‘Qui bono?’ Is that really a serious question? Whose benefit do you think jackass? I already told you once, so I won’t bother again. Copper? What the hell is this, The Big Sleep? Jesus.

You’ve revealed more: Wet teams; Don Wiley; Sigma Nu; Total Awareness; black ops; Beat Street. I won’t question your intelligence or knowledge of it. No doubt your theory is intriguing. But why the same modus operandi over and over? This many years has offered ample time to practice, and assassins have many more methods of murder. Things break down in the repetition. No professional leaves a pattern this discernible over this many years.

But I agree, psychopaths don’t stage accidents. Your arrogant assurance of how obvious this is to all but the uninitiated may be enough for you. That’s fine.
Still, why the targets? Bright, educated upperclass kids attract attention when they wind up dead. “De trop is too much.” Where’s the line? Why put that kind of attention on a black ops program? Pick immigrants, the homeless, the throwaways. Too easy? Maybe, but the target should fall somewhere between. No doubt the darkest among us train killers and sleepers in many ways. This is a lot dead, though. And death always leaves a mark. Right?

So where’s the mark? Start looking for the mark.

Anonymous said...

Hi twilight and purple anon. Call me mount anon.
Y'know purple has a point. It takes a lot of people to keep a secret.
As far as the mark? Could the mark be draftable boys, maybe shows a little patriotic tendencies?
We know that these crimes are not committed to gain monetary treasure, nor psychological treasure, so what else is there? A purpose, a religious, anti-establishment or values based purpose.
I want the cops to look at cab drivers in the area. Some of these kids were found far away from where they were supposed to be and I don't mean far by floating. I can think of only one group of people who would feel that they could do this with impunity. It needs to be looked at and damn the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Twilight: Purple here. Now you definitely don't sound like a cop. Whew! You reach for a pack of cigarettes with a cop present and he wants to know if you've been smoking Kool Filter Kings at the crime scene. Not me! Caught the Raymond Chandler reference. I guess I am a jackass, but I would never want to see these kids hurt. This is a whale of an intriguing case though, but I'd settle for boredom and no case at all.

But let's get serious now. If the scepter theory is correct, the murders are initiation killings. Their object therefore is recruitment, in this case, of a certain type of college student who is willing to risk everything in his conscious and premeditated contribution to murder. Who are the most readily available targets for these college types? Other college students, not the homeless, the down trodden, etc. These are not readily available in the sense intended here. What the recruiter is seeking, on the other hand, is complicity, not direct participation of his prospect. He doesn't want his prospective recruit exposed any more than he has to be. After all, the Organization wants him to work for it some day. Exposure is for the mentally challenged n'er-do-wells with the spray paint cans and the mad gaping stares that finally cinches it for Beat Street when it corners them in the drab cinder block interrogation rooms after two or three pops, a couple of free butts and a whole promised carton of Marlboro Country for the entire baseline confession of bad deeds running from NYC to La Crosse, and back again. Sure, why not? But not Jonathan McKnickerbocker with the prep school pedigree. Mom and Dad would scream. And so would Senator McThackery. "Not him. Why...why no..." Why...sure! I can see that, can't you? Does Obama speak to AIPAC when the coast is clear? Sure he does. Because power talks, and no one else walks. Unless they sanction it. Or demand it. And Jonathan is the one the Organization folks want anyway.

Now something else. You seem to use the word "mark" as meaning the killers' signature. You also imply, rather insightfully I must say, that just killing college kids or limiting one's murderous predilection to college types is going to generate a lot of heat. And my answer to that is twofold: 1) The m.o. of accidental drowning is done to turn the heat off, so that in the case of the rare botched hit it becomes necessary to get rid of the body altogether (note the permanent missing; there are several, and that takes skill--i.e. keeping them missing); 2) there may, of course, be several signatures, and no one yet knows what the others are; it could be really bad, and a rash of murders going on nationwide that have gone undetected: the Scepter never sleeps. I hate those people!

Anonymous said...

have been reading the posts from The Footprints at The Rivers Edge, and I came across the post where it spoke of an order of heirachy, insignia's and the color purple. I also read that Nick Garza was traced by scent dogs by frat houses on the Middlebury campus. Could it be a induction into a fraternity? Maybe we need to look at the Middlebury campus frats where Nick went missing and look for the color purple and investigate from there- How do we get a list of what frats are on the college campuses in Middlebury and lets look at the Ithaca campus where Willie also disappeared-

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to log onto websleuths but it will not accept my web address- But it seems the conversation concerning Nick Garza is finally waking up to the fact that there may be a frat link. I have thought this from the start. I think college drownings would be linked more with frats than smiley faced killers or maybe they are linked together. I think soemone now has to see what frats on on the campuses of the missing young men-

Anonymous said...

There are no frats at Ithaca College.

miki said...

Hi -

I live in Minnesota, and I've thought for some time that there was something not quite right about these student deaths.

Here's the thing: kids who grew up in Minnesota, don't mess with the big river. They know the force of the Mississippi. The people who get into trouble swimming in it? They aren't native-born Minnesotans.

I've driven the river road hundreds of times, and I want to say that there is a well-defined sidewalk for pedestrians to stick to. I've driven it at night, too, and it's difficult for me to believe that anybody could fall off the side, like the authorities are trying to say happened now. The road is well-lit.

But I'm really, really hoping that I'm wrong here, and that this latest boy turns up safe.

I also want to ask, has anybody looked into who volunteers for the search and rescue after a disappearance? Seems to me, if there are those who are going to the effort of stalking and killing, then they'd want to hang around for the fear and grief after. Serial killers do like feeling power over those they hurt.

This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

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